Joseph Mallord William Turner

A Valley with a River and Distant Hills; Studies of Trees and Buildings

c.1820–40

In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Artist
Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775–1851
Medium
Graphite on paper
Dimensions
Support: 195 x 281 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856
Reference
D34450
Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 93

Catalogue entry

This is one of six sketches on a single sheet (see the technical notes below) showing the landscape of a broad river valley with scattered buildings and distant hills, in the vicinity of a distinctive medieval church (see Tate D34449, D34452, D34453; Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 92, 95, 96). The setting is unidentified but may be in the North of England or Lowland Scotland. The present view includes cottages or a farm in the right foreground, and a waggon with a lightly indicated figure. Above to the left and right are additional thumbnail sketches of buildings and trees.
Finberg placed the sheet somewhat arbitrarily in a large ‘Miscellaneous: black and white’ grouping dated between about 1830 and 1841.1 It was presumably drawn directly during an unidentified tour, and is placed in the present section and given the widest date range assigned to other works here pending further investigation, although it could well be earlier.
The verso of this part of the sheet is Tate D34453 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 96).
1
See Finberg 1909, II, p.1116.
Technical notes:
D34449–D34453 (Turner Bequest CCCXLIV 92–96) share a single sheet, some 550 x 384 mm overall, which was folded into eighths. Each of the five (D34451 comprising two sketches) occupies two eighths in varying orientations except D34452, which is half the area. D34453 is the only drawing on the other side. Each is stamped and numbered individually.
The present quarter of the sheet has a vertical central fold, with a slight loss at the bottom; the top edge is slightly irregular.

Matthew Imms
August 2016

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